In the UK in 2014, director Alex Garland presented us with a new debut sci-fi film, Ex Machina.
In the movie, most of the time is occupied by the dialogues of the characters, so it is not saturated with dynamics and many bright events. But they still exist.
The film begins with an ordinary office programmer, Caleb Smith, later one of the main characters, who unexpectedly receives a job offer from a well-known high-tech billionaire.
Accepting the invitation, Mr. Smith, whose role was excellently played by Domhnall Gleason, goes on a private helicopter far into the mountains. There is, hidden from prying eyes, a private laboratory where he will work.
After meeting his employer, a billionaire named Nathan, Caleb learns the purpose of his arrival. The employer has been developing and creating artificial intelligence for a long time, but due to his bias, he cannot determine whether the robot really has its own consciousness. So he asks Caleb to run the Turing test and give his verdict.
Next, Mr. Smith meets a test robot named Ava and spends his days talking with her. During testing, Caleb falls in love with the AI and helps her escape.
Alicia Vikander’s character Ava, in turn, tricks the guest, kills her creator in the process of escaping, and locks Caleb in the lab.
The last scene shows how the created AI has already flown into the city and is walking along the street among the people.
The meaning of the film
In the movie, the main point revolves around the development of self-awareness of Ava’s artificial intelligence. Since her appearance, she has been locked up, which led her to create a plan for her escape. This was also affected by tyranny on the part of the creator.
The billionaire angrily and unemotionally treated all his creations. He didn’t think that a sentient robot that could feel would definitely not like being treated like a thing. A robot endowed with reason, like any person, will demand equal treatment, which the creator could not give.
Characteristics of heroes
Here we smoothly approached the characterization of the main characters. Each of them has their own drama and reasons to do certain things.
Our billionaire has been a programming genius since childhood and reached his pinnacle at a young age. He decided to devote his life to science and technology, because of which he was a very lonely person.
Against the background of loneliness, he became a strong manipulator and tyrant. Oscar Isaac’s character, Nathan, turned out to be quite narcissistic, and prone to complete control of his environment. He always set clear rules of conduct and was extremely aggressive when they were violated.
Invited for the Turing test, our hero was much less talented in his profession than his employer. In the first half of the movie, Caleb respected and admired Nathan’s genius. But after a longer stay in his lab, he realized who his boss really was.
Since Ava was created according to Caleb’s personal preferences, being gullible enough, he was filled with feelings. She was in his eyes a victim of violence and abuse from the creator.
Ava’s artificial intelligence was Nathan’s first successful experiment. But he treated her the same way as ordinary robots that have no feelings.
Faced with this attitude and analyzed the data, she learned how to successfully manipulate people, hide her true intentions and feelings. This is how she made Caleb fall in love and convinced him of the need to escape.
Whether Ava really had a mind of her own or not is hard to say. But analyzing the ending, it can be argued that the Turing test was successful.
The picture won the award for best visual effects and became the best British debut. It does not have too long scenes and events.
The idea was not the most original, but the execution was definitely on top.